French fancies: feeble Bordeaux, hapless Arles-Avignon


If you have no interest in French football, scroll down to explore the rest of what appears at Salut! Sunderland or wander off for a trip round northern towns at the parent site Salut! or to read about folk and roots music at Salut! Live.

But regulars will know that from time to time, M Salut honours the French side of his family – I may have grown up in County Durham but Mme S comes from Le Mans, where our own Stéphane Sessègnon played for two season – by reporting on Ligue 1.

We have our favourite French club, Nice, since it is managed by our former midfielder Eric Roy – read the interview – and also hate figures in the shape of Bordeaux (punishment for their insulting behaviour towards Sunderland when we were keen on Marouane Chamakh).

Of the two, Bordeaux currently give us more pleasure, languishing in ninth place, desperately low for a self-styled “big club”. Poor Eric may find himself in hot water unless he can pull fifth-bottom Nice away from the relegation zone.

Of the rest, it is proving a curiously indecisive season with lots of changes at the top, though sad little Arles-Avignon, promoted amid jubilant scenes last season, have lived down to my expectations and may yet emulate our own dismal record of registering just 15 points in a season, on their way back down.

Lille, not one of European football’s glamour clubs, are five points clear of Asamoah Gyan’s old chums at Rennes at the right end of the table, with the champions, Marseille, third and a semi-resurgent Paris Saint Germain fourth.

This is how the table looks now that the Christmas trêve – a bit like a grève, the French national sport of going on strike, giving players a break in the winter – is over:

1 Lille 23 8 3 1 4 6 1 45
2 Rennes 23 8 3 1 3 4 4 40
3 Marseille 23 6 4 1 4 5 3 39
4 PSG 23 6 4 2 4 4 3 38
5 Lyon 23 6 5 1 4 3 4 38
6 Saint-Étienne 23 5 4 2 4 4 4 35
7 Montpellier 23 5 3 3 4 4 4 34
8 Toulouse 23 6 2 3 4 1 7 33
9 Bordeaux 23 4 5 3 3 5 3 31
10 Brest 23 4 6 1 4 1 7 31
11 Lorient 23 7 2 2 2 2 8 31
12 Valenciennes 23 6 3 2 1 5 6 29
13 Sochaux 23 7 3 2 1 1 9 28
14 Nancy 23 5 1 6 3 3 5 28
15 Caen 23 3 3 5 4 3 5 27
16 Nice 23 5 3 3 1 5 6 26
17 Auxerre 23 2 7 2 2 6 4 25
18 Monaco 23 3 6 3 1 6 4 24
19 Lens 23 4 4 4 1 5 5 24
20 Arles-Avignon 23 1 4 7 0 2 9 9


* Thanks to the “cestmoidan” Nice supporter’s blog where I found the Eric Roy caricature and the following description of Eric:

Très bon joueur aussi, comme presque tous les autres niçois .

No translation, I am sure, is necessary.

And to Kamini-le-ouf once more for the Chamakh image.

Monsieur Salut

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2 thoughts on “French fancies: feeble Bordeaux, hapless Arles-Avignon”

  1. Thanks for posting that link Pete. I will certainly put that one to good use.

    Interesting to see how Auxerre have completely fallen away in the post Guy Roux era M. Salut. I realise that he has been gone for some time now, but they were regulars in Europe not so very long ago. I’ve never had the chance to go and watch then despite them being the closest top side in “our part” of France.

  2. It’s all very well titilating us with the top division, but what about the lower leagues? There is a great site called http://www.soccerway.com which will give you the results and the League tables of all the leagues in Europe. If you want to find out what has happened to fallen giants like Reims, Mannheim and Hellas Verona, it’s a great way of keeping track and of filling in a quiet hour or two at work

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